<p>WASHINGTON-Partisanship was on obvious display during last week’s Senate Banking Committee hearings on the progress of the implementation of the USA PATRIOT Act’s terrorist financing provisions. Several lawmakers were invited to express their opinions on the progress, as well as representatives from Treasury, the Federal Reserve Board, and others. The difference of opinions expressed by the House Financial Services Committee Chairman Mike Oxley (R-Ohio) and Ranking Member John LaFalce (D-N.Y.) demonstrated the contrasting views. Oxley called the implementation of the regulations under the PATRIOT Act “impressive” and noted the success the Bush administration has had in blocking or freezing millions in terrorist funds. LaFalce, while supporting the law, felt the implementation needed to be faster and more severe for violators. “To date, the Administration has not used the new law, to my knowledge, to declare any parts of the world, through which terrorists funneled their cash, as areas of primary money laundering concern.But according to the Treasury Department, the Secretary has not yet imposed a single special measure against these jurisdictions. Not one,” he said. The PATRIOT Act was passed in response to the incredible network of terrorist cells necessary to carry out the September 11 attacks. Title III of the law concerns the financing of these activities. Oxley admitted, “As proud as we are of our legislative achievement, none of us has any illusions that Title III of the USA PATRIOT Act is the last word, or that we can afford to rest on our laurels in the fight against terrorism. The one thing we can least afford is complacency.”</p>

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